Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is still popular among beginner beginner bodybuilders today.
It’s one of the so-called basic barbell routines that are supposed to do miracles for skinny beginners, especially if the routine is coupled with a high calorie diet such as GOMAD. Unfortunately, the after results are nowhere near the expected. Most people just get to about 25% body fat, add a couple of plates to their squat and claim God status.
Another negative side effect of Starting Strength is that most people don’t get the desired upper body size – especially in the ARMS.
Very few people, if any, have actually built big arms on Starting Strength. The results are usually as follows: big fat glutes, some quads and a big gut. The reason for that is that Starting Strength is a low volume squat heavy program.
People are also advised to rest a lot between sets. It’s not uncommon for trainees to rest about 15 minutes between sets once the weight gets heavy. This is not an optimal way to train for mass. You need to train with lighter weights and perform more reps. You need to stimulate your muscles, not your ego by lifting heavy weights.
Sadly, many beginners are mislead into believing that if they squat as often as humanly possible, they will transform themselves into some kind of muscle machines. It does not happen on Starting Strength or any other program for that matter.
The exaggerated claims are just meant to boost sales. Even if you squat all day long, you will not get closer to the level of the guys you see in the magazines.
Starting Strength is in general not that bad of a routine. It’s well structured and it has some logic behind it.
However, the muscle gains on the program are not that phenomenal and your arms will certainly not get much bigger – there’s just not enough volume. You will build bigger arms FASTER with high volume bodyweight exercises.